Roots 

By Madison Macalintal 

We trace our pasts in our creased palms, 

Envisioning faded footprints in the dirt crying for water,

Stacks of banana leaves ruffling in the breeze.

Your ancestor’s tongue escaping once more,

Before their pockets of seed coats from peanuts,

And seventeen scratched and rusted coins, 

Soar with them to your new homeland. 

Discovering your parents’ first strides, 

The new world created with packaging boxes,

Streets they ran through weightlessly with friends.

The electrical roads of adolescence they drove down,

While inhaling the sweet air before it became poisonous,

Praying to understand the haunting nature of blessings,

Kneeling by the church pew for faith in each coming light. 

We listen to each memory with a fragile heartbeat,

Each creates strength in those dwindling spirits resting,

The ones behind us, above us, besides us, ahead of us.

They allow the powerful, yet graceless wind to charge,

But ground us in the penny soil below the lifting sun.

Each one illuminates the golden souls we forget,

Reminding us that our forever home, 

Lives in the eternal ghosts of our roots.

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